tv [untitled] June 22, 2011 7:31am-8:01am EDT
ideal if it ever was there are two sorts of people involved in this there are the people who want. and the people who want freedom and for the moment the people who want the gaining ground over the people who want freedom and the people who want power have a lot of very unpleasant characteristics going for them they're cruel brutal people and they hold on to power and they're not going to give it up and we see in one country after another that the people who want to. have quite different character from the people who want freedom and the people who want freedom are not characteristic thugs and brutes. standing up for themselves and for human rights and for a decent society so things are not going to well but i believe everything will turn on what happens in syria it's a standing example of how the people who want power winning over the people who want freedom but the game is not yet over in syria ok omar in washington the how would you go back to that there is it is it is it
a simple dichotomy like that go ahead. i honestly i think it would be perfectly legitimate to say that there has been a shift in mood i mean after the fall of mubarak i mean that regime was so central to the old reigning order in the middle east that its fall created this and i think hyper optimism and it would be perfectly legitimate to say that the mood has changed significantly after the protracted cluster mess to put it politely and libya in bahrain and syria and yemen. i think people are just simply more grounded in reality now about the kind of cost it's going to take and time and blood to see this transformation through but i still think that the general outlook is still positive for me the story in syria is not so much the fact that there is this protracted brutality taking place as much as it is that people are still taking to the streets the spite of it that far in so i think the cat is out of the bag people have lost their fear this is the moment for the middle east to change and i don't think that anything can stop it i think we're different regimes will be able to employ different tactics to delay that transformation they can use brutality they
can use bribes they can use. exploits ethnic fears and what have you and things of that sort and blame foreign agents and that will buy them some time in the meantime but i think they will not be able to stop the transformation generally speaking anybody who expected this to be quick and painless simply either does not understand how change occurs generally or does not understand the complexities of the middle ok alan if i go to you and austin last time you were on the program we were discussing libya and if you might want to jump in in mention that also on this program here is that the rebels there and now it's turned into a private protracted civil war in libya is it all about democracy is or is it just about to get rid of gadhafi in the khadafi family and it's it has less to do with democracy than just gaining power. well i think peter there was a terrible naive a take a at the beginning of this arab spring in the rest of the international community and they sort of sort of saw this fairytale where all the
people were united against an evil dictator and peacefully they would overthrow the dictator and then we would have jeffersonian democracy and there were a lot of problems with that from the start first of all it's very very different in a country that's divided along sectarian lines ethnic lines clan lines tribal lines in that sort of country where you get an attempted overthrow what you get is an ethnic civil war similarly it's our second it's different whether it's a peaceful uprising or a violent uprising in a violent uprising you're going to get a terribly brutal response from the government as we've seen in libya and third of all not all the folks even the peaceful folks wanted to establish a jeffersonian democracy some of them were islamic radicals and just wanted to establish an islamic state if there was going to be a vote it was going to be one man one vote one time so i'm not surprised that this arab spring is turning into a very hot arab summer and we're not seeing democracy and i do not share the
optimism of one or both of your of my colleagues today i think that this is going to be bad for the people of those countries and i think it's going to be certainly bad for the american national interest david if i can go to you is it really is i'm surprised if i may as well go ahead jump in as a not surprised to find myself described as an optimist after what i said i think part of the problem is that the people who want freedom want it but then how to achieve it and that's not very optimistic if there was a civic society if there were parties if there were genuine representatives if there was some form of real electoral system whereby you could. have have representation. accountability but there's no. all of these things what you actually have is a lot of good feeling on the street but there's no way to institutionalize that good feeling and therefore i wonder really how thinks it's going to happen i want
to. go to you isn't this really just about learning curve in political technologies because ruling regimes that are oppressive there just learned how to deal with crowds more and how to deal with social networking i mean they're learning they're shown an amazing learning curve i'm not going to say they're going to win but they've learned how to deal with social dissent and protesting and all forms of protesting and then the other side is you have protesters that are learning new techniques also to challenge authority so again we're taking a lot of these really noble ideas out of the equation and it's all about power how to keep it or how to gain it yeah i think that certainly there was a learning curve i think in tunisia and egypt governments were completely taken by surprise what had happened and put them at a disadvantage in terms of how to react to it and that's where i think you saw the most significant transformation i think other governments looking at this are learning the lessons they're trying to avoid getting stuck in the same situation which is why there was this this is going to be more significant and again how can you expect them not to resist to the extent that they are i mean their backs are against the wall they see this wave of change they've been frozen in time they've
had absolute power for many decades that yes of course they're going to resist to the extent that they have but i still don't think that this will. holt the arab spring so to speak i still think that people have genuinely lost their fear of their governments i mean i think this is for the first time that the equation has actually shifted where the governments are the ones who are actually afraid of their people people i think on a very personal level are fed up with unaccountability are fed up with the kind of lives they're living where there's very little political freedom and in the broader sense they look at the rest of the world will be forward and they are refusing to continue being left behind and i think that that movement that moment in history is not the kind of thing that these governments will ultimately be able to thwart and i just want to emphasize one thing when we say that this will ultimately be successful this does not mean that every last autocrat is going to be unseated i mean you're talking i think it was that the including that put it yesterday in a televised debate this way he said there is going to be
a menu of change but in some places like in egypt you saw the decapitation of the regime and you're seeing a more significant transformation from there and other places just going to be very substantive substantial reform that alters the way the country is run so i think the way to judge it generally speaking is that what you're seeing is a transition from people of the region being subjects to becoming citizens of their states and i think that that transformation is going to that's again that sort of sounds like a fairy tale to me peter i'm going to head it's going to be a very happy ending or a sort of happy ending and in fact in some places you're seeing very unhappy middles and probably even less happy endings so in syria we see you know a thousand people killed so far in libya thousands of people killed so far most of them probably after nato intervened in that conflict in yemen we see an incipient civil war in bahrain we see an uprising there was really an ethnic uprising which she had absolutely brutally crushed with intervention from saudi arabia so i don't
really understand where omar is seeing all of these very happy or sort of happy endings we're seeing repression we're seeing increased ethnic hostility now look of course i would love. to see democratization in countries that want to be democracies but the question is how you get there and you don't get there as the u.s. and nato have done it in libya by intervening militarily and you don't there get there as some folks have tried by trying to get revolutions overnight an ethnically divided society in bahrain the sunni power holders are not going to give power up overnight to the shiites and similarly in syria the allies are now you're saying over and over to justice isn't overnight so any anybody who has all of this is going to i mean when i was there you know anybody how change happens at that but then i went to president obama gets up and says that and says that more market off he has to step down and leave power and now you get these calls people are saying the same thing in syria that assad has to step down and leave power it's just not
going to happen if you insist on that they will they will fight to the very last man ok david i want you to jump in on i wouldn't. i wouldn't call it i wouldn't call egypt a good example of transformation the way that. proposed it's been another military coup. colleagues is still in power. there and sixty percent also the economy that heavily invested in egypt and business and really all they have done this through one of their own team and they've taken over to write a constitution which may or may not make any change it seems to me that all those people who were once protesting in. betrayed they made a lot of noise and it didn't really affect the military regime it's really run by a party of generals as has been the case in egypt since since the nasa took over. ok i certainly do not would not want to under play the difficulty you know the sort of like military rule that if they are going to egypt right now in the kind of
conditions that people are and are living under there's no question that i mean we've seen a significant amount of repression happen after mubarak was was ousted but what i see i think i think it was painted by still put it this way this morning in an article where there is the beginning of it yeah there is a beginning of a transition right now and wish there would be meaningful power sharing moving forward that perhaps the military would you need to be in charge of national security gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we have to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the arab awakening stage started. and. wealthy british scientists. sometimes.
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back across town people about to mind you were talking about the prospects for the arab awakening. ok alan i'd like to go to you and let me switch gears a little bit let's take a look at libya it seems very likely it's only a matter of time we're done nato will finally get rid of mr gadhafi in libya and will that be called a success for democracy because it will be nato as a victory quote unquote and not the people's and is that a precedent that should be set about how to bring democracy to the arab world. well i think you're right that if khadafi leaves that nato will declare this successful humanitarian intervention a successful democratization campaign but it doesn't mean that either of those things is true it's my contention and i think it's clear from the facts that this war in libya would have ended months ago if not for the nato intervention and
because of the nato intervention people have continued to die by the hundreds in libya and so what that means is that the intervention actually caused more harm than good secondly will it lead to democratization it doesn't appear so libya at this point seems to be divided regionally and along tribal lines and so you've got a bifurcated libya how are you going to knit those two pieces of the country back together again i don't really know but i would suggest that the best way would be negotiation not through military victories so no i don't think it will in fact be a success for humanitarian intervention or for democratization and certainly not a model for other countries and just to you know more generally on this whole arab spring arab summer thing i think the point is that in many of these countries you have different factions you have different political factions ethnic factions sectarian factions and the answer therefore is a long term evolution towards power sharing and that's the way to get everything
you want people safe democracy progress and my concern is that the position of the international community has been for revolution not evolution they say khadafi has to leave has to leave saleh has to leave and what you're seeing are the consequences on the street which is incipient civil war or full blown civil war that's not good for democracy that's not good for humanitarianism go to david in florence or. brings up a very good point is it is outside intervention foreign intervention in primarily western intervention good for the arab awakening for bringing institutions that we all take for granted there after a huge neocolonial project that the west how they have their for for centuries i mean it is the west playing a positive role in that role but that positive role or a net negative role. well that's a very good question isn't it i'm not sure how the intervention in libya would have been solved. surely the the uprising the place was in
internal affair an internal matter. how would that have been resolved if we let it run i'm not actually in favor of the intervention in libya i think it produces a very strange paradox i'm not don't really understand why it's all right to go and knock off gadhafi and not all right to go and knock off assad. on the whole it seems to me that military intervention of that sort is not a good idea i wasn't for it either by the way in serbia i don't think these things produce anything except damage rage and frustration they don't need to democracy they can't be democracy for instance the course of a situation is unresolved and i'm sure the libyan situation is going to be unresolved for a long time to come it may be the. tripolitania split and there were two libyans or something that's all but is that an improvement . all the borders there for some reason. what are we doing about syria.
why are we intervening in libya and on on through question so i'm afraid that and it's not answerable question i mean they would better not to do it omar jump and go right ahead i feel look if you're looking for moral consistency you're going to be baffled for a very long time about the different policy and double standards that people employ in reacting to situations of different countries i think the reason why there is no intervention in syria is because if the us had regime is knocked down by force you run a very serious risk of a regional war that ends up involving iran hezbollah and israel as well so you know the stakes are a bit higher over there now just of actually act a little bit about libya i agree that i mean generally speaking the region is very iffy about the idea of foreign intervention but i don't know how anybody can say with a straight face that the intervention to stop the qaddafi forces from each in benghazi has ended up causing more deaths than had they let it happen i think there was an emergency situation and while i'm not in favor of intervention generally speaking i
mean you're talking about forces where khadafi is basically handing out by our ground condoms to his men and they're approaching the city that is sort of like the primary opposition stronghold and what was going to happen there if this was allowed to happen i mean there is no issue really she could hear how it was over there but on confirmed allegations i knew you would jump in there. go ahead go ahead again i suppose you'll stay with history no one go ahead everyone you know everyone everyone said that there was going to be this terrible bloodbath in benghazi you know and i traced it down and it turns out it was a spokesmen in switzerland that decided there was going to be a bloodbath and then ghazi wasn't people in libya who were saying this is the reason well what do you think was going to happen which is his words don't even go to people so you know human your human rights advocate right human rights watch put out statistics and in two months of fighting in misrata about two hundred fifty people were killed in two months two hundred fifty people were killed mainly rebels
right so that's not a bloodbath that's. the civil war and that's what was going to happen in maine gazi any rebels who were stupid enough to stick around we're going to get killed most of the rebels were going to flee and the civilians were going to be left harmless khadafi said this and he proved it in misrata he was not targeting civilians he was targeting rebels so this was propaganda and it was it was it was formulated to entice a nato intervention and it worked perfectly and nato was played for suckers and we should stop doing that when i think that is complete nonsense and that's the thing so now we're stuck in a difficult situation where it's unclear what nato is roll out to be so we understand that right now we're stuck in this limbo situation and you can say the intervention may have caused it but quite frankly i felt like there was a humanitarian emergency that actually required intervention at the time but that's the thing i think more broadly speaking we can talk about all these things all the obstacles that we're seeing signs that things might not be optimistic but i think the question we ought to be asking ourselves is given a certain level a certain level of degree of uncertainty that we see in the situation is what role
can we play as an international community to make sure that things progress in a positive direction that whatever change happens next as a benefiting progressive forces rather than regressive ones i think that's the central question and i think that there are three basic elements that have to be that have to be pushed forward from here on the one hand you cannot be backtracking to the attitudes of the past where arab public opinion simply does not matter and we have this sort of. illusory sense of stability that requires us to support our own governments without ever regarding their people in any way i think seeing millions of people rise up for freedom and democracy is a sign that this time has passed and we can no longer backtrack to that kind of thinking on a second level i think it is the international community's job to continue putting pressure on governments that are using violent repression to keep down change from positive change from occurring and third i think is there is a need to resolve the israeli palestinian conflict as well there has to be a decisive attempt to end the israeli occupation of palestine to end the brutal oppression of palestinians because that has been a tool that is exploited by many governments in the region and on. to thwart change
and to distract people from from internal problems well i guess the reason why regimes for example like the syrian regime still has some level of popularity is that they're able to say well look ok maybe we're not very nice to our people but look at our policy toward israel we're standing up. to has to be taken from if i could go to david i mean what is top of mind you think for western leaders and political leaders is it just a real arrangement of the political order in the arab world to serve western interests ok all right mubarak's gone ok ben ali's gone but we have to find a new mubarak we have to find a new ben ali maybe with a more kind of semi democratic face which makes everyone feel more comfortable but they just want really allies say because it's been proven because brains out there i mean these people protested but no geopolitical interest is what's most important at the end of the day not ideas talk about the international community makes me uncomfortable there really isn't such a thing there's a lot of different national interests and competition and there's no one track and
the talk of intervention also makes me uncomfortable i mean we had imperialism all through the twentieth century and he didn't work it's not a good idea these people have got to solve their problems by themselves and i don't believe that putting pressure. to some national interest as the french do in tunisia was the british tried to do in egypt i don't think this is a good idea and i think it's a complete disaster if you try and solve the israeli palestinian. along those lines they have got the only way it can be done is if they do it together by themselves with the sort of i think intervention there that obama is trying to bring about but you don't have all you don't have a situation that can result itself you have one party which has control over everything has a monopoly on power and i systematically undermining the other people's right to self-determination there squeezing them into smaller and smaller and we have this situation ok i really need to produce alan i noticed you want to jump in there go ahead. yeah i mean just i mean i think omar's aspirations and his policy
prescriptions you know in principle are fine but the problem is again they're so they're overly simplistic he keeps talking about how you know we have to accept what the people of these countries want there isn't one people in these countries in bahrain they're terribly divided between sunni and shiite similarly in syria the terribly divided between kurd sunni alawite and he talks about how we have to give rights and representation to the palestinian people which palestinian people the people who support hamas or the people who support fatah so i mean they're terribly divided if they could unite i take you bet these these situations would probably be solved a lot more quickly i think that's why we see that i mean i think these are sort of stars tunisia where it seems that people were united right but in these other countries they're not and so we have to be very very careful about what we ask for we ask for democratic elections in palestine and what did we get we got a hamas victory and that's not good for the palestinian people it's not good for
stability and it's not good for the u.s. national interest so we have to be careful that's why i advocate evolution gradual evolution not these revolutions that's what leads to chaos ok i'm going to give you know you want to you have the last word go ahead you have you had elections in israel that also produced a right wing coalition government that basically is completely incompatible with the idea of resolving the problems of the region or reaching any kind of peace agreement these complexities of all these people are not here and there is a way to distract it's a way to distract from the central theme which is that people deserve their freedom and i don't care about the division between hamas and fatah and this faction and that faction the occupation has to end there are simple things that we can all agree on regardless of these minor divisions that people try to distract us with the same thing with our countries where there are the gentlemen to be here we have run out of time was running out of time and we haven't resolved anything as usual many thanks to my guest today in florence austin and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t. see you next time and remember crosstalk. and.
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experts investigate the cause of a plane crash in northwest. washington another bringing the death toll to forty five. relatives of the survivors and the victims of the temple one three four plane crash washed in the sights of their loved ones while the people of the republic of cordelia offered flowers and prayers at the site join me for the details in a few moments. in other news the greek government vote of confidence indorsing the savage cuts required to secure a new. angry greeks say their voices are not heard. plus the former soviet republics remember the millions of people who gave their lives to win the war against actions them wednesday marks the seventieth anniversary of the nazi invasion of the u.s.s.r. .
by from our studios in central moscow you're watching r t with me and you said no way it's four pm here in the russian capital our top story the number of people killed in a plane crash northwest russia has risen to forty five after a young boy died in hospital experts are examining the doomed to pull of the black boxes to establish the cause of the tragedy while family and friends have arrived at the site to pay their last respects. reports the relatives of the survivors some of them have already made their way here saw the hours still on the way a ten year old boy had passed away at the hospital injuries so his family definitely going through an emotional time now it will be a tough day for their families because they have the task by identifying the bodies
at the borg and also we had spoken to some of those who were first at the scene and they were telling us about what they had seen where the plane had crashed bodies body parts and bodies all over the place let's hear from one of the witnesses about what you had experienced. first. then we heard a monster. burning around to my house. and the flames. well it's still very early stages to come up with one as the of the investigators are still working on the place but they have had some initial theories based on physical evidence as you can see behind me this is the forest where the plane had gone through its path going to the airport so it had really burned out the force also knocked out a power line and there were statements made by airport authorities about what could have happened several theories are being explored and of course the flight recorder will be essential to this investigation.